Monday, August 02, 2010
Today’s Topic: Darkness Looms
Today’s Text: To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. (Isaiah 8:20)
What is it like to live without hope? What does it feel like to have no confidence in the glorious return of Jesus Christ to set all things right? What pain people must feel who live only for today and who find their only worth and pleasure in what today brings.
Hope was personified in Greek mythology as Elpis, a young woman, usually carrying flowers or cornucopia in her hands. When Pandora opened Pandora’s Box, she let out all the evil except one: hope. Evidently, the Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world’s evils.
In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that “Zeus did not want man to throw his life away, no matter how much the other evils might torment him, but rather to go on letting himself be tormented anew. To that end, he gives man hope. In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man’s torment.”
How sad a philosophy by which many live. The prophet of God named Isaiah described the condition of such people in the Bible. He said,
Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. (Isaiah 8:18-22)
What a prediction of people’s pathetic predicament. We are surrounded every day with people who are in the bondage of such a world view. They see the corruption and suffering around them. They have experienced it in their own lives. They have tried to find answers from people who, in spite of their advertised abilities, are in the same situation. They have cursed their earthly rulers and blamed them for not fixing their problems. In their anger they have looked up to God and cursed Him. Then, as they continue to look for solutions from the world’s system, their darkness deepens. They are people with no hope.
But here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. What an amazing statement by Isaiah. He sees himself and the other faithful followers of God in his family as the signs and symbols that the LORD Almighty is truly on the throne and in control of all things. His life was the example of hope that the people in darkness needed to see.
What a challenge to us who have the hope of glory in our hearts. We are the signs and symbols to the hopeless world that God’s promises can be trusted. We are the light that is to shine in the midst of the deepening darkness. We are the ones who proclaim, not just with our lips but with our lives, that the Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. The hope we profess in word and deed is the testimony of faith that will cause the hopeless to ask us for what we have.
How we live is truly a statement of what we really believe. How will people in the dark see the light of God’s truth and have hope if we are living in the same darkness? Let the light of God shine in your life today.